VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 7, 2017) - Lundin Gold Inc. ("Lundin Gold" or the "Company") (TSX:LUG)(OMX:LUG) is pleased to announce its results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017. All amounts in this release are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.
During the quarter, Lundin Gold ramped up construction at the Fruta del Norte gold project ("Fruta del Norte" or "the Project") and there are now approximately 800 people at site, including contractors. The Company also advanced exploration targets to prepare for drill testing, which is expected to begin later this year.
"We have made a remarkable amount of progress in a short period of time and are well into the construction phase at Fruta del Norte," said Ron Hochstein, Lundin Gold's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We plan to hit hard rock before the end of the year in the underground mine, keeping the critical path on track, and we are making excellent progress on the procurement and design of both the process plant and powerline, both of which are key to the advancement of the Project."
Fruta del Norte
•Mine portals were completed and soft tunneling is well advanced.
•Key infrastructure at site to support mine development was completed.
•Detailed engineering contracts for the process plant, tailings facility and water management were awarded and work began on all areas.
•Long-lead time process plant equipment was ordered.
•Engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") contract for the power transmission line from the Bomboiza substation to the site was awarded.
•Major earthworks activities are progressing and work on the process plant area started.
•Targets in preparation for drill testing were better defined, with geochemical sampling and mapping completed on the Barbasco and Puente-Princesa epithermal gold-silver targets within the Suarez pull-apart basin (the "Basin") that hosts the Fruta del Norte. Both targets are located approximately 7 kilometers south of the Project.
(in thousands, except per share amounts) Three months ended
September 30, Nine months ended
2017 2016 2017 2016
Results of Operations:
Net loss for the period $ (16,032 ) $ (11,785 ) $ (21,635 ) $ (38,925 )
Basic and diluted loss per share (0.13 ) (0.10 ) (0.18 ) (0.37 )
(in thousands) As at
September 30, 2017 As at
December 31, 2016
Cash 62,951 8,503
Working capital 66,196 1,022
Property, plant and equipment 87,312 7,822
Mineral properties 245,669 236,874
Total assets 434,198 278,906
Long-term liabilities 170,738 974
Note: the complete analysis of the Q3 2017 financial results can be found in the MD&A and financial statements dated November 7, 2017 filed on SEDAR.
The Company's net loss in the current quarter is higher compared to the net loss during the third quarter of 2016 mainly due to a derivative loss of $8.3 million from the fair value revaluation of its long-term debt at September 30, 2017. This balance is valued using Monte Carlo simulation valuation models. The key inputs used by the Monte Carlo simulation include: the gold and silver forward curve based on Comex futures, the Company's expectation about long-term gold yields, gold and silver volatility, risk-free rate of return, non-performance risk, and production expectations.
The loss in the nine months ended September 30, 2017 is lower compared to that of the nine months ended September 30, 2016 due to the commencement of capitalization of expenses which is offset by a derivative loss from the revaluation of the Company's long-term debt.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
As at September 30, 2017, the Company had cash of $63.0 million and a working capital of $66.7 million compared to cash of $8.5 million and a working capital balance of $1.0 million at December 31, 2016. The change in cash was primarily due to proceeds from a project finance package of $300 million (the "Financing") with Orion Mine Finance Group and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (the "Lenders") of which $150 million has been drawn to date, offset by costs incurred for the development of the Project of $67.8 million and exploration expenditures of $4.7 million.
On May 30, 2017, the Company's operating subsidiary, Aurelian Ecuador S.A. ("Aurelian"), which holds Fruta del Norte, closed the Financing comprised of a gold prepay credit facility for $150 million, a stream loan credit facility of $150 million and an offtake agreement. The Lenders also committed to participate in future equity financings of the Company required to fund the Project, in an aggregate amount of not less than $100 million and not more than $150 million, as and when initiated by the Company and subject to minimum financing thresholds.
The third quarter of 2017 marked the commencement of construction at the Fruta del Norte Project. The Company's focus now is on advancing the Project through to first gold production in 2019. To achieve that goal, the following activities are planned over the next twelve months:
•Completion of all Early Works activities by the end of the year.
•Completion of soft tunnelling and commencement of underground hard rock development in 2017.
•Advancement of detailed engineering of the process plant, tailings storage facility and site-wide water management into 2018.
•Ordering of remaining process plant equipment and electrical packages and mobile mine equipment in 2017.
•Approval of the Mountain Pass Quarry EIA and signing of an exploitation agreement for the quarry to permit the extraction of construction materials in 2018.
•Continuation of earthworks activities, including the clearing of the plant site, construction of the North Access and River Roads and site preparation for the tailings dam.
•Commencement of concrete work on the process plant in 2018.
•Commencement of construction of the Bomboiza / Fruta del Norte powerline in 2018.
During the next several months, the Company will also continue to work with its financial advisors to put in place the remaining funding for the construction of Fruta del Norte, including continuing advanced discussions with a syndicate of banks.
A helicopter Z-Tipper Axis Electromagnetic resistivity geophysical survey of the Basin and surrounding terrain is planned to take place by the end of 2017. Soil sampling has been completed on most of the Company's concessions in the Basin, and geological mapping is continuing on selected targets; targets will be prioritized for drilling scheduled to begin before the end of 2017.
The technical information relating to the Fruta del Norte Project contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Ron Hochstein P. Eng, Lundin Gold's President & CEO who is a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). The disclosure of exploration information contained in this press release was prepared by Steve Leary, MAusIMM CP(Geo), a consultant to the Company, who is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.
Full details of the Feasibility Study can be found in a technical report entitled "Fruta del Norte - NI 43-101 Technical Report on Feasibility Study" which has an effective date of April 30, 2016. The Technical Report is available for review under the Company's profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on the Company's website (www.lundingold.com).